PCE Testing at Arlington High School Shows No Imminent Health Risk to Students or Staff
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) has released its report on the Perchloroethylene (PCE) testing conducted at Arlington High School last week. The results have shown that there is no imminent health risk in the school.
PCE is a chemical used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations. If spilled onto or into the ground, it has the potential to dissolve in the underlying groundwater and subsequently travel under the ground in the direction of groundwater flow. It has a propensity to volatilize or “evaporate” out of the groundwater and impact overlying structures through “vapor intrusion.”
The Mass DEP collected groundwater and air samples at Arlington High School to determine the extent of PCE contamination. Groundwater and air samples were taken both inside and outside of the building. Various rooms on the basement level including the nursery and the preschool were tested. Of greatest concern were the rooms in the basement and lowest parts of the school occupied by students and staff. All air samples collected from occupied areas of the building were well below action levels thus safe for students and staff.
While it is currently safe for students and staff, School and Town Officials take public health seriously and will work with the Mass DEP to conduct additional monitoring and to implement recommended strategies to further reduce and or eliminate the infiltration of PCE into the school.